Bioethicists’ Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's Cruzan Decision

George J. Annas, Bob Arnold, Mila Aroskar, Peggy Battin, Dianne Bartels, Tom Beauchamp, Daniel Brock, Allen Buchanan, Arthur Caplan, Cynthia Cohen, Ronald Cranford, Rebecca Dresser, Nancy Dubler, Ruth Faden, Norman Fost, Joel Frader, Leslie Francis, Michael Grodin, Chris Hackler, Bruce JenningsMarc Lappe, Ruth Macklin, David Mayo, Alan Meisel, Steven Miles, Haavi Morreim, Lawrence J. Nelson, Lisa Parker, Robert Pearlman, Donnie Self, Robyn Shapiro, James Walters, Stephen Wear, Robert Weir, Daniel Wikler, Stuart Youngner

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

36 Scopus citations


On June 25, 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Nancy Cruzan, the first “right to die” case to come before it. The purpose of this statement is to clarify the meaning of that case in order to prevent misinterpretation that might lead to serious adverse consequences for hopelessly ill patients, their families, and health care professionals. First, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of competent patients to refuse life-sustaining treatment. Second, the Court did not treat the forgoing of artificial nutrition and hydration differently from the forgoing of other forms of medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-687
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 6 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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